Thursday, March 05, 2015

A Standing Ovation- Thank You! #LookUp

Life has its way of bringing us back on track at moments when we most require it and at ones when we least expect it.

As the film began, I sat with my fingers crossed, eyes on the screen and ears on the reaction of the audience. I wanted to see what they liked and what they didn’t. I wanted to see which moments in the film worked, which generated the maximum applause and which ones got the ‘boos’. I wanted to check if my thoughts matched with that of other people. I didn’t expect for one moment the reaction I was going to get at the end of the screening.

September 2014: It had been over a year since I completed the documentary. It was my graduation final project. People who had seen the film (and that included only a few friends and family members) had appreciated my effort. Ít’s an amazing story, everyone would say. I wasn’t personally very happy with it. I thought it was a mediocre film.

I re-edited the film a few months ago and decided that I was ready to send it to a few student film festivals around the country. The film was screened at two festivals, first one of which was here in Delhi. Due to my class schedules, I was unable to attend the screenings. Now here I was, months later, the third official screening of my film at a festival and the first time that I was witnessing it.

The auditorium was brimmed to its capacity. As the 25 minutes of the film rolled by, I was shaking with nervousness. Goosebumps appeared at a precise few moments when the audience clapped during the film. Some moments which I thought were important, were not given as much value by the audience. I was anxious.

The credits rolled, the film ended and the lights came on. A roar of applause began.

The hosts announced that the director and the protagonist of the film were in the house and were invited on-stage for a Q&A session. As I got up and made my way to the stage with the protagonist of the film, I didn’t ever anticipate what was to come next. The entire 200-odd people in the audience rose up and applauded. It was a standing ovation. I was too happy to think of anything. I got my phone out and captured the moment.

Standing Ovation at Cinephile 2014. The picture is blurred, but then I was too nervous and probably my hands were not steady.

Probably the standing ovation happened due to the presence of the protagonist on stage and her story that was shown in the film, more than it was for me as the director. But then, someone close told me, “No one would have known the story had you not made a film about it.”

I didn’t attend the festival the next day when the prize distribution was to happen. I had no hopes and frankly, I had never given ‘winning a prize’ any thought. I had always just wanted more and more people to see the film. I was watching the prize distribution streaming live on youtube, and was in shock when my name was announced as the Best Documentary Award winner. Holding the trophy and the cash prize in hand didn’t make me as happy as seeing that standing ovation had done.

The screening had been a huge success even before I had known it.

I hadn’t worked on any project since that film was completed over one and a half years ago. I wasn’t sure of my skills as a director. I wasn’t sure if I should make an attempt with another film now. But to be attending a public screening of your first film for the very first time and getting a standing ovation for your work- I don’t know what else could have ever raised my spirits and hopes, like that moment did. The amount of optimism that the moment filled me with, it was way greater than the story of optimism I had tried showing in my film. I knew right then that this is something I ought to continue doing, this is something that would bring me joy throughout life.

Thank you Cinephile for that amazing moment. I can never ever forget it.

This entry is written as part of the Look Up Stories for Housing.com

You can watch the documentary film 'Leukemia- Not Just a Disease!' on youtube. Click here

4 comments :

  1. hahahaha... yes no one would have known the story had you not filmed it!

    congrats! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The creation is always greater than the creator. Go on creating and your creations will crown you with greatness. Be blessed.

    ReplyDelete

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